Hey kids, look, another supergroup! SCUM brings together a motley crew of extreme musicians, including Casey Chaos (AMEN), Samoth and Faust (EMPEROR), Cosmocrator (MINDGRINDER), and Happy Tom (TURBONEGRO). Nocturno Culto (DARKTHRONE), Mortiis, and Knut "Euroboy" Schreider (TURBONEGRO, EUROBOYS) contribute guest vocals. The result of this collaboration is "Gospels of the Sick", a metal-infused punk album that is equal parts DISCHARGE, SLAYER, and the SEX PISTOLS.
Though generally effective as a mess of jagged riffs, nasty lyrical tirades, and reckless beats, I'm not always convinced that the venom is deadly. I wouldn't call any of it contrived though, as the unit can be quite lethal, as evidenced on the title track and songs like "Deathpunkscumfuck" and "Backstabbers Go to Heaven". Chaos' impression of a snotty British punk is sufficient, if sometimes a little forced and awkward. To be honest, I heard as much Marilyn Manson in his delivery as I did Johnny Rotten. Take that any way you'd like. SLAYER-esque riffs (most notably on "Protest Life") and bludgeoning rhythm parts join with crusty hardcore viciousness on a collection of songs that manages to retain its intensity throughout while mixing up the tempos nicely.
The only real problem (and I hesitate to describe it as such) is that rather than coming off as a seamless blend of styles, "Gospels for the Sick" sometimes sounds like a band that is not sure of what it wants to be. The album is still a violent son of a bitch and a pretty good listen. But if you really want to hear a phenomenal disc by a purer crust punk DISCHARGE-esque militant "supergroup" check out a masterpiece of pain call "Retroactive Abortion" by VENOMOUS CONCEPT, featuring members of BRUTAL TRUTH, NAPALM DEATH, and the MELVINS. Now THAT is the real deal.